History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Thanks to Judy Dolanski, Typing Volunteer, who typed this section.
This article was sent to us by Elizabeth (Klock) Hoagey. It appeared at some time during the late 1920's or early 1930's in the St. Johnsville Enterprise and News. The owner of the E & N at the time was Lou D. MacWethy. His granddaughter has permitted articles from this time period to be used on the Fort Klock web site.
Letter No. 20. Incomplete.
Probably from Benjamin to John B. Klock, Jr.
Danube, August 1th, 1823.
Your father in law rec'd your letter this spring ( ) we are all in health, we are all in good ( ) these few lines may find you all well. ( ) wrote a letter to you concerning the Cast(le land) have not (1) heard from you since, we should like ( ) you intend to pay your share of it or not ( ) take the course of law, for I and Cornelius h( ) Loucks for Father's share to the amount of S( ) and ninety dollars we had only a short time ( ) in, George G. Klock Jur. had the execution aga( ) the above amount and we heard of it and w( ) would pay the money in a short time, if he ( ) the execution in the Sheriffs hands so we ( ) paid it up, your share will amount to two h( ) three dollars, and the interest since the 29th ( ) Brother Christian says he will pay his share ( ) anything for George not I want your opin( ) to do with them on account of that bond they gave to Father to pay the costs of the Castle affair, Harings opinion is that they must pay it, the next question will be can we get it from them.
Christian says he will give up all the property he ever got of Father if we will give him clear, but the farm he now lives on, belongs to his wife and we can't take hold of that farm, it can't be sold only during his lifetime. George has no property that we can take hold of, it belongs all to Peter. (2) I wish you would take some council what can be done. I have made Christian a great many offers for settlement. I offerd him that we would go to any attorney he chose and that should be the final decision between us, he agreed he would but we have not taken any council as yet on account that I could not attend to it but expect to tend to it soon on account of my wife being sick. She has had a young daughter and has been very sick but is better now.
I was married last fall to Miss Thankful Howes formerly from ( ) our daughter was born on the 15th May last we calculate ( )rilia I live in the town of Danube, Herkimer County ( ) in my old farm a south west course, where I and John ( ) a store one year ago last June in the Village ( )n miles south of the Indian Castle meeting house, we ( ) as we can expect for strangers in that place we expect to ( )ur than we did last year, on account of being more acq( ) that people and the business, Sister Betsey is married to ( )an since last fall. She lives where uncle Henry B( ) Christians on the hill, Brother Cornilius has built ( ) between the Creek and the River Road that leads ( ) lands where he keeps store Brother George lives four ( ) Utica he moved there this spring he give up the ( ) he use to live. Mother and Polly lives with Ashbel. ( )ter complains very hard of you of not fulfilling your ( ) with her for her dowry you had better attend to it ( ) of course must have her support out of the old farm ( ) write to Loomis concerning your share you can't get ( ) if you was a mind to, the writing you gave her will be put in force soon if you do not see to it, there for I would advise you as a brother to see to it if Loomis takes it in hand you will of course have to pay a bill of cost.
I would be a hard witness against you, you know the promises you made the time those writings was made and the time you was down last, the article send it down to me or some other between me and you I wish you would person whom you could depend on, to be destroyed and the money you got of Uncle Bellinger the time you sold the land to me it was fifteen dollars and the interest from that time till its paid the taxes on your Black River land I paid it was nine dollars and fourteen cents I paid on the 8th June 1822.
I have your receipts for the same, some of your land was sold for taxes and I redeemd it, the time was almost run out for redemption. I wish you would send me the money I paid in Albany for your taxes and the money I paid on the land I bought of you and you sold the land again. It will amount to twenty four dollars and fourteen cents besides the interest, I want the money very much, to pay where I had to borrow for your share in the Castle affair, if we had not paid your share you would had to pay a very heavy bill of cost, it would cost you at the least calculation fifty dollars more.
We done it for your own (the rest of the letter is missing.)
Notes by Milo Nellis 1. This is the famous moonlight survey plot over which Sir Wm. Johnson started trouble for George Klock, Sr. as soon as he had acquired it (about 1754) from the original patentees. George Klock's descendants still living on these lands are numerous.
2. Peter Klock was grandfather of Bert Klock and Frank Klock still living in St. Johnsville where Bert still occupies a part of the old George Klock homestead. Peter and George G. Jr. were brothers.
Letter No. 21
Benjamin to Jacob B. Klock, Jr.
New Ville, June 22th 1826
I rec'd your letter of the 22th of April. You stated you are all well, we are all well, hoping these few lines may find you all in the same state of health. I am sorry that you could not pay that money which we paid for you to Mr. Loucks. We must pay raising of two hundred and fifty dollars more on the 26 of this month and where to get it I don't know.
Cornilius was here yesterday and he don't know where to get his money to pay to Loucks. He wanted we should send the execution up for collection but I told him that I did not like to do it --it was hard enough to pay the sum besides paying any more, but I told him I would write you a letter on the subject if you did not pay it in two months from now, then we must send it up for collection, that is the longest time we can wait, we have had a great deal of trouble to get the money for you. You don't seem to care anything about it.
I suppose you think you live a great ways off but you can be found. We have good reasons to find fault with you, we have advanced the money for you more than years ago. We had only ten days to get it in or otherwise the execution would been in the Sheriff's hands for collection, we had to go to the bank for the money and had to pay it in every ninety days for about two years, we had to go to Utica and some times to Cherry Valley Bank if we could not get the money where as to pay it in the Bank at Utica. I would not be hired to do it again for fifty dollars. It has put a stagnation to my business ever since I have been obliged to go all together on credit for goods.
I owe in Albany fifteen or sixteen hundred dollars for goods. You must expect to pay us for our trouble without fail for we can't do all this trouble for nothing, you had better see to it soon or you must consequently expect to pay cost. I have given you a statement of it a number of times before now, but it avails nothing, you can't think hard if we send up the execution for collection, you have had a long time to pay it in to what we had. I rec'd the Power of Attorney you sent me, but I can't do anything till we pay the last installment that becomes due, in short if we had not paid the money as we did, you would had to pay more as well as we, it would been fifty or sixty dollars lost if the execution had come in the Sheriff's hands.
I would advise you as a brother to see to it as soon as you can, if you would exert yourself half as much as we have, you could paid before now and we would be better off than we are now. I have no more to write but hope you will do your endeavors to do as you would wish others would do unto you.
Remaining yours &c
Mr. John B. Klock
On the outside of letter: free B. Klock P. M.; New Ville June 22; John B. Klock, Jr.; Ellery, Chautauqua County, N. Y.
Letter No. 22
Feby. 6th, 1828
I take this opportunity to inform you that we are all well. Hoping these few lines may find you are well. I have not rec'd. a letter from you in some time. I have sent a number of letters to you since I rec'd. one. I presume my letters don't come welcome to you, if so I can't help it. I can't help but write once more to you concerning this money we have paid for you when your wife was down last fall. She did not give us any encouragement that you would pay it. I went to Oppenheim last Saturday for the first time since your wife was here. There I was informed that you did not calculate to pay this money, if that is the case, we will have to send the execution up for collection. If you don't let us know in a short time what you will do, we shall take it for granted that you don't calculate to pay it, it is no use for you to think so.
Therefore I intend of you to see this thing settled. As for us prosecuting Uncle George, Christian and George in your name is no use for I would have to advance more money for you and perhaps never get it, for we can't get what we have advanced for you all ready. If you would come down your self and see Uncle George, Christian and George perhaps we could come to some conclusion or other and we could have a consultation what was best to do. As for you to be afraid to come down for fear we would put you in prison is all fudge, for you know better that it is a poor excuse for you to try to swim out in this way.
Now you must consult your own interest what you will do, whether it will be best for you to pay it all at once or not. If you conclude to pay it, then I want you should write to me as soon as possible, if you can't pay it all at once, pay what you can and as fast as you can. That would show that you meant to pay it, as it stands now it looks dark on your side. We have advanced this for you and ought to have our pay.
Your wife when (down) had an idea ( ) could get rid of paying this money, if we could got rid of paying this money we would been fools to pay it, but we could not get rid of it. So it is no use for you to think to get rid of paying it. The execution is against your property as well as ours, there is no back out. The fifteen dollars your wife was inquiring about is what I paid to Uncle Bellinger when you was last down, the time I bought your Black River land, I paid it to Uncle Bellinger for you. I paid your tax in Albany for you on your Black River land and paid the redemption money likewise. If I had not paid it, you would put your self in trouble when you sold your land and was sold for taxes. I want you to send that and the money I paid Uncle Bellinger together with the interest the fifteen dollars was paid when you was last down. That is seven years this month winter, the tax I paid for you in Albany is six years this spring. That is nine dollars fifty cents the interest on the whole and principle will be about thirty six dollars.
I want you to send me the money or send me your note for the amount, if you don't send it I shall take it for granted that you don't calculate to pay it, for it has been standing long enough to be paid or settled. I think you could sent it with your wife last fall, if you calculated to pay it. I done this for a favor for you to pay this money and now I get my thanks for it in keeping me out of my money so long, if you don't pay it I hope you won't prosper til you pay your debts. I presume you think hard of me that I write to you in this way, but I can't help it. I write as I think, if you have any hardness against me for writing to you as I do, then you must do as you wish to be done by, then I would not wish as I do, hoping this letter will set you a thinking what I have done for you and not you for me, if you had done for me what I have done for you, probably you would find the same fault with me what I do with you now. I want you to place yourself in the same situation I am placed in.
Remaining yours with Respect
John B. Klock Letter
I take this opportunity to inform you that we are all well, hoping these few lines may find you all well.
I have understood by Mother and Polly that you was quite sick and have been since last spring. They came to see me last week and said your father in law had just returned from Chautauqua and had no hopes of your recovery. I understood that he had went up to arrange your business so that if you did not recover your illness, and should die, you wanted to have it so arranged so that we could not get our pay from you.
If that is your calculation to cheat us out of our honest due, I think it is a bad principle of you, especially in your situation as I understand your case is very dangerous. If you should die with that principle what will become of you, God only knows. The money I paid to redeem your Black River land has been standing seven years last spring and you have not paid it as yet. I calculate to hold the land for the redemption money if not paid in short together with the other money I paid for you. Cors and myself have paid about thirteen hundred dollars, and one third is your share to pay with interest for six years.
If you can die with a clear conscience and can say I have done right to my brother, then you can do more that I could do. I judge from my own feelings only, I wish you to consider your latter end and do as you would wish you had done when you came to die, if you don't alter your ways, I ( ) can't die with a clear conscience, what you have suffered ( )spring I should suppose would bring you to your feelings and do ( ) fair thing to us and not cheat us out of our due, I hope you will come to an honest principle and pay your debts as an honest man ought to do and die the death of a Christian and honest man.
You pretend to be a professor of religion, but I fear you don't possess any religion. If you did, you could not do as you do. I have been informed by a person that I can depend upon and he has got it from some of your neighbors, that you had put your property out of your hands for the express purpose of getting rid of paying this money we paid for you. If that is the case, it will do you no good, is that doing as you wish others would do unto you, if that is a Christian principle, I don't want to possess such a principle.
It is just like some Methodists in this place, they want to cloak their roguery under the cloak of religion, away with such religion, I don't want any of it, for the sake of your little property you might be cast off and what good will your property do you there, it may then be with you as it was with the rich man, but then it will be to late. You know as well as we do how the debt came, it is none of my contracting nor yours, but so it is and we cannot alter it now. You do know it is hard for me and Cors as well as you, to pay it, you can pay yours, money for you to save you the cost as well as we, ours we advanced this of a trip to Chautauqua and now we get our pay for it in this way.
I hope you will get your pay if it haint till the great last day when God will judge all nations of the earth and will judge every man according to the deeds now in the body, every man will have to answer for himself, then there will be no appeal from his desetian, there will be no more roguery carried on, no more roguery cloaked under the cloak of religion as a great many do in these days especially amongst the Methodists.
Mother talked about you with me when she was over with tears in her eyes and was fearful you suffered for the wrongs you had done her and us, in not doing ( ) duty to her as your Mother, in neglecting to pay her as you ( ) if you can die with a clear conscience and cheat us and your old Mother out of her share, you can do more that I could do. I have always done to my Mother as I ought to do but you have not, to my knowledge, the scripture tell us to honor father and mother, that our days may be many. This may be the last letter that I write to you, you seem to neglect to ( ) to me, this some time especially, since I answered your antimasonic letter if you are offended with it I can't help it. I took you on your own grounds, I should not answered you so if you did not write as you did.
Newville, Oct. 21th, 1829.
John B. Klock.
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